This is my tribute to the Inauguration of President Barack Obama. I have edited excerpts of Obama's historic inaugural speech with Sonny Rollins' landmark recording "Freedom Suite". Recorded in 1958 this was Rollins' musical protest of the state of race relations during the height of our segregation era. It also represents a new freedom in jazz composition and improvisation. Saxophone Collosus' sailing Tenor playing, Oscar Pettiford's solid bass statements, and Max Roach's inventive drum stylings, combine to musically express the struggles of those times.
Fifty years later, we have elected an African American to the highest office in the land, in what is possibly the beginning of the final chapter in the history of the civil rights movement in America. I have juxtaposed Rollins' expression of anger and despair of racial inequality in 1958, with Obama's message of hope and unity as a tribute to the truly historic election and inauguration of our new President.